April 17, 2011

Bhagwan Shri Rama traveled toward Mithilapuri to liberate the stone that was Ahalya and to Shabari’s hermitage to grant her moksha. Several millennia later, Bhagwan Swaminarayan similarly traveled the length and breath of India reviving dharma and rejuvenating the morally flailing society, fulfilling spiritual desires of the devout and granting liberation baring distinction. He transformed, for the better, lives of the havoc-creating brahmin, Pibek, and the untouchable, dog-hunting Sagram Vaghri, and granted moksha even to the bear, Jambuvan. Such compassionate qualities of Bhagwan that make him a benefactor of all were highlighted at this year’s celebration of Chaitra Sud 9.

Ram Navami and Swaminarayan Jayanti arrive during the month of Chaitra marking the birth anniversaries of Bhagwan Shri Rama and Bhagwan Swaminarayan and are celebrated across the globe with fanfare and exalted devotion. The BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandirs across North America also held festive assemblies on this occasion during the weekend of April  17, 2011. Sarva-Jiva-Hitavaha, an epithet used for Bhagwan Swaminarayan to characterize His quality of being a redeemer of all, was the focus of the 230th birth anniversary celebration. 

Organized and conducted by the children and youth of BAPS, the assemblies included singing of vedic shlokas and bhajans, enactments, and folk dances, all of which enhanced the theme of the evening. Discourses by respected Swamis and video blessings by His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj expanded on this quality of Bhagwan and guru while addressing the duties of a devotee desiring the ultimate moksha.

The Janmotsav, Dharma gher anand bhayo, jay bolo Ganshyam ki, sung animatedly while placing Thakorji on a decorated swing, accentuated the festive, devotionally charged atmosphere of the evening. 

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